“Healthy Junk”

You cannot out train a poor diet, it’s true. However, it’s impractical to think that you can maintain a “clean” diet for extended periods of time without a couple hiccups along the way. Consistently denying yourself the pleasure of certain foods may lead you to the bottom of that bucket of ice cream, or you may find yourself polishing off that 6th slice of pizza.

In order to avoid a complete binge I’ve had to find ways to satisfy my cravings for junk without compromising all the hard work I have put in at the gym. I have nothing against cheat meals once a week, but I prefer to spread out those not so good calories into snacks throughout my week instead.

There are healthier versions of all different kinds of junk foods, from brownies to muffins, and even cookie dough. Unfortunately these usually take time to put together, and that’s no good because you want something that’s ready to go right now!  Here are a few prepackaged snacks I consider to be “healthy junk.”

1)      Orville Redenbachers Smart Pop! Mini bags

Smart Pop

2)      Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Crackers

Goldfish Crackers

3)      Christie Vege Thins

Vege Thins

4)      Quaker Popped Rice Chips

Popped rice chips

5)      Neal Brothers Blue Corn Chips & Salsa

Blue Corn Chips

6)      Luna Bars

Luna Bar

7)      Kashi Bars

Kashi

8)      VitaTops

VitaTops

9)      Stoneyfield Frozen Yogurt

Frozen Yogurt

10)   Frutarre Frozen Yogurt Bars

Yogurt Bar

Side Note: Each snack contains the following

<200 Calories

0 Trans Fat

<3g Saturated Fat

<600mg Sodium

<10g Sugar

<40 Carbs*

>1g Protein

*40g of Carbs/serving is a little high, the only snack with Carbs greater than 30g is the Blue Corn Chips, the rest contain less than 30g. Also, please be aware that if eaten with salsa, the amount of sodium will increase. Always note serving sizes.

Thanks so much for checking out my post! Do you know of any other “healthy junk” snacks? Leave a comment!

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Healthy and Delicious Pasta Salad

Pasta Salad

Ingredients (I didn't have cucumber on hand, but definitely add it if you can!)
Ingredients (I didn’t have cucumber on hand, but definitely add it if you can!)

1 box of noodles – 375 grams

1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil

1 can of chickpeas – drain and rinse

3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar

¾ Bell pepper (I like to use ¼ of 3 different colours)

1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard

½ small-medium red onion

Lemon juice from ½ a lemon

6 green onions

1 tablespoon of sesame seeds

A bunch of spinach

1 tablespoon of dried parsley flakes

½ of a medium sized cucumber

A pinch of salt and pepper

In a large pot bring lightly salted water to a boil and add the box of noodles. Cook noodles on a medium heat for approximately 10-15 minutes or until noodles are tender. While waiting for the noodles to cook, chop up your vegetables. Check and stir the noodles frequently. Still not ready? Make the dressing. Combine olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix it all up until it is well blended. Are the noodles done? Drain it! Add a little bit of olive oil to prevent the noodles from sticking, and set aside to it let cool.

Once the noodles have had some time to cool off, it’s time to add it all together. Mix in the chick peas, vegetables, and then while stirring it all together slowly pour in the dressing. All that is left now is to add the sesame seeds and parsley flakes. Continue to stir until the ingredients are well blended. Voila! Pack it up and toss it in the fridge.

This will make enough for a week’s worth of lunches or dinners, or to bring to a gathering of some sort. Feel free to tweak the recipe any way you like. I use whatever vegetables I have on hand and my measurements are never perfect. I am not a professional chef, but I think this is damn good. Oh, and if you don’t eat meat, this is a great vegetarian/vegan meal that offers complete protein through the combination of grains, legumes, and seeds. Enjoy 🙂

Ready to eat!
Ready to eat!